(Updated 1 Jan 18 to include Cabinet member’s reply – in green italics)
At the full Vale council meeting on 13 Dec 2017, the Liberal Democrat Cllr Emily Smith asked a question of the Cabinet member for Environmental Protection Elaine Ware. Despite the fact that the question was submitted on time, 10 days before the council meeting, the Cabinet member said she was unable to supply an answer on the night, promising a written response in a few days. We had the reply on 21st Dec 2017.
Here is the question:
Question from Cllr Emily Smith to Cabinet Member for Environmental Protection, Cllr Elaine Ware:
In the 2015 Air Quality Management Plan the 11 district wide actions were:
1. Creation of a ‘low emission strategy’ and ‘low emission zone’ feasibility study (target date 2017) – Named as a focus of work for 2017-18 in the Annual Status Report. This work is dependent on external funding. We are currently compiling a bid for a Defra air quality grant with Ricardo to undertake this work
2. Installation of electric vehicle recharging points – Planning conditions requiring electric charging points are placed on applicable planning applications
3. Parking permit & pricing incentives for green vehicles (target date 2016) – Target delayed due to resources. An air quality officer 0.5 post has been recruited and is currently undergoing training. Once this is completed the action plan target will
4. Feasibility study for freight transport consolidation centre (FCC) / freight quality partnership (target date 2016) – Initial discussions with OCC and other Local Authorities have concluded that this is a long-term action and will be raised when the new Oxfordshire infrastructure proposals are discussed.
5. Taxi licensing incentives for green vehicles (target date 2016) – Target delayed due to resources. An air quality officer 0.5 post has been recruited and is currently undergoing training. Once this is completed the action plan target with be rescheduled.
6. Improved use and enforcement of traffic regulation orders (target date 2016) – This action will be included in the proposed Low Emission Strategy study
7. Review of the council and contractors fleet – Named as a focus of work for 2017-18 in the Annual Status Report and is underway. New waste vehicles with improved emission standards are now operated by Biffa the waste contractor.
8. Eco driver training (trial to be complete by 2016) – Target delayed due to resources. An air quality officer 0.5 post has been recruited and is currently undergoing training. Once this is completed the action plan target will be rescheduled.
9. Air quality planning guidance (target date 2015) – This is referenced in the LPP2 proposals and consultation is taking place with various officers in planning to complete the document (target January 2018)
10. Community involvement projects – Named as a focus of work for 2017-18 in the Annual Status Report. The Vale is involved with Sustrans and local Abingdon groups to investigate a simple project connecting cycle routes in Abingdon and produce a dedicated map promoting cycling in the town. Botley schools – potential project supporting air quality as part of curriculum. Plan to apply for Defra funding for a public outreach project as a joint application with other Oxfordshire Councils in 2018. This would connect with schools, GP and local groups.
11. Introduce south facing slip roads to Lodge Hill interchange – This action has been approved nationally and is being executed by Oxfordshire County Council.
Please can the cabinet member confirm which of these actions are complete and provide an update of those which are not? What evidence do we have that each of these measures has been successful or otherwise?